Colorado board votes no on allowing medical marijuana for PTSD

The Colorado Board of Health voted 6-2 — amid shouts, hisses and boos from a packed house — not to add post-traumatic stress disorder to the medical conditions that can be treated under the state’s medical marijuana program.

The board voted Wednesday against the recommendation of the state’s chief medical officer.

A dozen of the veterans who testified said cannabis has saved their lives. Many said drugs legally prescribed to them for PTSD at veterans clinics or by other doctors — antidepressants, antipsychotics, opioids and others — nearly killed them or robbed them of quality of life.
“It is our brothers and sisters who are committing suicide every day. We know cannabis can help. We’re not going to go away,” said John Evans, director of Veterans 4 Freedoms…

The American and Colorado psychiatric associations do not support it, said board member Dr. Ray Estacio, an internist at Denver Health and associate professor in medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus…

“Blood is on your hands,” one audience member shouted after the board voted not to make Colorado the 10th state to allow medicinal marijuana use for PTSD…

Wolk said listing PTSD as a treatable condition would increase transparency and reveal actual usage, shedding light on its effectiveness and reinforcing a physician-patient relationship for many users.

Many veterans are self-medicating with recreational marijuana or using medical marijuana ostensibly as pain treatment, although it is really for PTSD, he said.

Currently allowed uses of marijuana include pain (93 percent of recommendations), cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, muscles spasms, multiple sclerosis, severe nausea and wasting disease (cachexia).

Dr. Doris Gundersen, a psychiatrist who spoke at the meeting, said only 4 percent to 5 percent of the state’s physicians recommend medical marijuana to patients. About 15 physicians make 75 percent of the recommendations, she said. The state has roughly 14,000 licensed doctors…

One of the state-funded medical marijuana investigators, Sue Sisley, who is looking at effects on veterans’ PTSD, said federal policy on marijuana is a prime reason research is scant. It will take at least four years for her study, she said, because the team has been delayed in getting the study drug, still illegal under federal law, from the authorized supplier — the U.S. government…

Fibro Mystery No Cure With Legalized Drugs but Marijuana Still Proves Effective

For most of those who suffer, however, medically manageable is not all that it seems. Many with Fibromyalgia take enough pills to feel like addicts, but with very little result, if any. Only three drugs are approved to help the symptoms of Fibro, and they certainly help pharmaceutical companies bring in the big bucks, but they do not seem to help those taking the drugs. Cymbalta, Lyrica, and Savella are among the most recommended, but most patients do not see a difference for the better. In fact, research shows that 61 percent of 1,300 people said that the three drugs had no effect at all, while only 10 percent said that it was effective. Many of those surveyed even said that they feel worse on medications, with more symptoms spawning from the pills than from the disease…

Morgan Freeman, a sufferer of Fibromyalgia since his car accident, told the world that he was all for legalization of marijuana “across the board.” Freeman stated that he has found that weed is the only thing that helps his Fibro and that he takes it in any form that he can, whether it be smoking, eating, or drinking it…

5 Awful Realities Of Life With An ‘Invisible Illness’

#5. People Constantly Accuse You Of Faking Your Illness

We’re trying to move past our illness and be productive members of society, but society seems angry at us for looking normal. Like my ex-coworker, who used to accuse me of faking my MS-induced seizures to get out of work. Or my father, whom I have worked with for the last three years. He’s watched me wriggling on the floor amidst an MS attack twice without doing anything to help. Part of him just didn’t know what to do, but another reason why he just stood there was the gossip in the building about how my seizures were just exaggerated “dramatics” (in his defense, I am a huge theater junkie). Things are better between us now, and if I collapse in front of him, he’s sure to call for an ambulance or rush me to the ER himself. Though, even that’s not safe ground: You can roll up on the emergency room with handwritten notes from every doctor from Doom to House, and the ER staff still won’t believe you have MS unless you look the part.

Young, inexperienced nurses and doctors will sometimes have MS patients tested for fibromyalgia (aka the “uncertain shrug” disorder). Or, worse: They once tested my blood alcohol levels because they thought the MS-induced slurred speech and stuttering were from multiple shots instead of sclerosis.

#4. If You Need Disability, You Might Have To Cheat The System

I still have a job, but I probably can’t keep doing it forever. For people in my situation, going on disability is often the only option we have. But, here’s how infuriatingly difficult that process can be: When I was a teenager, I had a boss whose daughter had advanced MS. It took two court cases and more than $7,000 in legal fees before she could get the money to feed her kids. The woman in question was legally blind and had no control of her left leg. Now, try to imagine convincing those same bureaucrats that you need financial help when you don’t even look “sick.”

Real World Results Differ from Drug Studies

The result is that studies of antidepressants don’t really tell doctors or patients how well the drugs will work in real life. In fact, most antidepressants have a disappointing performance in clinical practice compared to how well they do in highly controlled clinical trials…

Sally The Spider

“Some spider silks are really strong, but not all of them are. The ones that are really strong can actually rival steel and approach the tensile strength of Kevlar.”  Cheryl Hayashi

“The difference between utility and utility plus beauty is the difference between telephone wires and the spider web.”  Edwin Way Teale

“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.”  Pablo Picasso

(Photo taken 7/3/2015.)